Students Celebrate 39th Mud Pig Day

By Chris Shoemaker | May 5, 2017 | RSS

Students Celebrate 39th Mud Pig Day
It’s a tradition like none other -- one that has endured the tests of time for decades and with its embellished memories of origin and antics has become near legendary.

View dozens of photos from Mud Pig Day 2017.








View dozens of photos from Mud Pig Day 2017.


It’s Bluefield College’s Mug Pig Day, and for the 39th year in a row, BC students took time out from classes and books to unwind and relax as they celebrated the culmination of another academic year, April 27, with the time-honored activities of the custom they call Mud Pig Day.


“It’s just a fun day to come out, hang out, and relax before finals,” said Olivia Ray of Russell County, Virginia, who spearheads the planning of Mud Pig Day as president of the Student Activities Leadership Team (SALT). “One of the things I like to see the most is when faculty and staff come out.”


The Mud Pig Day tradition began on the campus of Bluefield College in the spring of 1979 when prior to the start of final exams BC students took a day off from classes, away from books, tests and studying to commemorate the end of another year of achievement.


Some say the tradition began with a simple water balloon fight that developed into a full-scale, campus-wide water battle. Others recall how the event emerged out of a desire to increase school spirit and was named after a Lady Rams softball player who looked like every game she played was in the mud. Still others recall how the early years of Mud Pig Day included the actual chasing of a small pig, the crowning of a Mud Pig Day King, and the development of a formal day of games, competition, food, music, recreation, and fun under the guidance of Dr. Charles Tyer, president of the college from 1972 to 1988.


“I was there for the first Mud Pig Day,” said 1981 alumna Anna Bradberry Jones about the beginning of the tradition in 1979. “It was so much fun, and what a mess it made. I remember all the girls outside the dorm trying to clean up with the water hose and tracking the water and mud all the way to our rooms. Those were such great memories.”


The 2017 version of the tradition featured the ever-popular mud pit -- a man-made pool of cold water and murky mud just outside the Dome Gymnasium -- and the Mud Pig Day waterslide -- a long plastic tarp on BC’s high hill beside the Dome doused with water, soap and cooking oil.


“During the tours for incoming freshmen, they all talk about Mud Pig Day, and the slide is one thing they talk a lot about,” said freshman Matthew Mainville from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, about his first ever Mud Pig Day. “I was wondering how big the slide was. That’s a major slide. It’s very fun.”


Donning commemorative Mud Pig Day t-shirts, the students also enjoyed inflatable games, including an extreme obstacle course, human bowling and a Velcro wall, along with a mechanical bull and corn hole. They captured the day with a commemorative photo booth and ate lunch outside on the campus lawn -- a meal that featured the customary roasted pig and other barbecue picnic favorites.


“It’s a nice stress reliever before finals,” said Stephanie Dunning, a senior from Painted Post, New York, enjoying her last Mud Pig Day. “It’s my last one before I graduate, so it’s a nice way to end the year, hang out with friends, and get really dirty.”


The fun concluded with dinner, a lip sync competition, a bonfire, and more importantly another year of unforgettable memories for students and the continuation of a legendary tradition.


“This is very relaxing after all the hard work I’ve put in this semester,” said senior David White of Beckley, West Virginia. “I’m just so glad the school puts this on. It’s things like this that let us know they really care.”




Media Contact

Chris Shoemaker, Assistant Professor, Communication